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Fad and fashions are terrible tyrants!

For the last two years I have been bombarded by so-called internet gurus and marketeers urging a complete immersion in the Facebook and Twitter thing. My experience with most social media to date has been, frankly, disappointing. 

  • Firstly, in my experience, the type of people who are interested in serious personal and professional development are too busy to Facebook and Twitter being involved in serious jobs, careers and commitments.
  • Secondly,  my own analysis of my client base reveals that people find us through personal recommendations from previous clients. 
  • Thirdly, Facebook and Twitter seem better to suited to issues about  lifestyle, image, fashion, trends and quick comment.  Useful if you want to know what’s going on but less useful if you are struggling with who you really are and where you are going.

A real philosophical concern I have with social media is that on-line you can pretend to be who you want and project a false image of yourself. Making real connections with people is about trust and sharing the human experience. I have yet to hear somebody claim that social networking on the Net shows people at their best - yet my day to day-to-day contact with clients, families and friends shows me the richness and diversity of the human condition.

Another worry I have about social media is the people they exclude - those who don’t have access, computer skills or those with special needs. By the way has anybody tried to relate the amount of time sifting through all this trivial content to the actual tangible results? This thought was triggered by a course participant who said to me recently that he didn’t know where all the time went when he went on-line but wasn’t sure what he had achieved by doing so.

Where social media help is in Linked-In which is useful in finding and getting in contact with key professionals.

What is needed is a dose of really critical thinking on this one.  I have been accused of being a dinosaur: that’s no problem for me - dinosaurs ruled the earth for a very long time! Another point made to me recently is that the You Tube generation have to get the message in two minutes or they are not interested. I am not sure that someone whose attention span is that short is going to be that successful in their careers and their lives. Some  of the problems we have to deal with can take a lifetime to grapple with and understand.

A better alternative to the Tweet or the Facebook thing is to call in person or phone - whether you are connecting, networking or looking for a job. Offer your heart and your humanity. You’ll be amazed at the richness of the experience.